From times immemorial people used to worship deityes with methods, which later became traditional, and thus continued, if possible. In Europe several of influences, concerning religious doctrines and customs, remained present until nowadays.

Here is a collection of merely authoritative sources with an introduction, due to sensitivity of this topics. Some more information is presented in the article Veneti - mysterious people?

The Holy Trinity

mt_ignore:

Podoba Trojice, 15. st.
Museo Bardini, Firence


-The Illustrated Bible Dictionary: »The word Trinity is not found in the Bible ... It did not find a place formally in the theology of the church till the 4th century.«

- New Catholic Encyclopedia: [the Trinity] »is not ... directly and immediately [the] word of God.«
»The doctrine of the Holy Trinity is not taught in the O[ld] T[estament].«

- The Catholic Encyclopedia: »In Scripture there is as yet no single term by which the Three Divine Persons are denoted together. The word τρίας [tri´as] (of which the Latin trinitas is a translation) is first found in Theophilus of Antioch about A. D. 180. ... Shortly afterwards it appears in its Latin form of trinitas in Tertullian.«

- Trinitas-A Theological Encyclopedia of the Holy Trinity: »But hasty conclusions cannot be drawn from usage [some of Tertullian’s words were later used by others to describe the Trinity], for he [Tertullian] does not apply the words to Trinitarian theology.«

- The Encyclopedia of Religion: »Theologians today are in agreement that the Hebrew Bible does not contain a doctrine of the Trinity.«

- Edmund Fortman, The Triune God: »The Old Testament ... tells us nothing explicitly or by necessary implication of a Triune God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. ... There is no evidence that any sacred writer even suspected the existence of a [Trinity] within the Godhead. ... Even to see in [the »Old Testament«] suggestions or foreshadowings or ‘veiled signs’ of the trinity of persons, is to go beyond the words and intent of the sacred writers.«



The Immortal Soul

- New Catholic Encyclopedia (1967, Vol. XIII, pp./str. 449, 450/452, 454): »There is no dichotomy of body and soul in the O[ld] T[estament]. The Israelite saw things concretely, in their totality, and thus he considered men as persons and not as composites. The term nepeš, though translated by our word soul, never means soul as distinct from the body or the individual person. ... The term [psy•khe´] is the N[ew] T[estament] word corresponding with nepeš. It can mean the principle of life, life itself, or the living being.«

»The Christian concept of a spiritual soul created by God and infused into the body at conception to make man a living whole is the fruit of a long development in Christian philosophy. Only with Origen [died c. 254 C. E.] in the East and St. Augustine [died 430 C. E.] in the West was the soul established as a spiritual substance and a philosophical concept formed of its nature. ... His [Augustine’s] doctrine ... owed much (including some shortcomings) to Neoplatonism.«

- Encyclopaædia Britannica (1976, Macropadia, Vol. 15, p./str. 152): »The Hebrew term for ‘soul’ (nefesh, that which breathes) was used by Moses ... , signifying an ‘animated being’ and applicable equally to nonhuman beings. ... New Testament usage of psyche (‘soul’) was comparable to nefesh.«

- The Jewish Encyclopedia (1910, Vol. VI, p./str. 564): »The belief that the soul continues its existence after the dissolution of the body is a matter of philosophical or theological speculation rather than of simple faith, and is accordingly nowhere expressly taught in Holy Scripture.«

- Dictionnaire Encyclopédique de la Bible (Valence, France; 1935, edited by Alexandre Westphal, Vol. 2, p./str. 557): »The concept of immortality is a product of Greek thinking, whereas the hope of a resurrection belongs to Jewish thought. ... Following Alexander’s conquests Judaism gradually absorbed Greek concepts.«

- Presbyterian Life (May 1, 1970, p./str. 35): »Immortality of the soul is a Greek notion formed in ancient mystery cults and elaborated by the philosopher Plato.«

- Plato’s “Phaedo” ( Secs. 64, 105, Great Books of the Western World , 1952, R. M. Hutchins, Vol. 7, pp./str. 223, 245, 246): »Do we believe that there is such a thing as death? ... Is it not the separation of soul and body? And to be dead is the completion of this; when the soul exists in herself, and is released from the body and the body is released from the soul, what is this but death? ... And does the soul admit of death? No. Then the soul is immortal? Yes.«

- The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria (Boston, 1898, M. Jastrow, Jr., p./str. 556): »The problem of immortality, we have seen, engaged the serious attention of the Babylonian theologians. ... Neither the people nor the leaders of religious thought ever faced the possibility of the total annihilation of what once was called into existence. Death was a passage to another kind of life.«



Worship of the Mother Goddess

Trojica z Marijo,
Collegiate of Montréal, Francija

- The New Catholic Encyclopedia (1967, Vol. IX, p. 337) »[a·del·phoi\' and a·del·phai\', used at Matthew 13:55, 56] have the meaning of full blood brother and sister in the Greek-speaking world of the Evangelist’s time and would naturally be taken by his Greek reader in this sense. Toward the end of the 4th century (c. 380) Helvidius in a work now lost pressed this fact in order to attribute to Mary other children besides Jesus so as to make her a model for mothers of larger families. St. Jerome, motivated by the Church’s traditional faith in Mary’s perpetual virginity, wrote a tract against Helvidius (A.D. 383) in which he developed an explanation ... that is still in vogue among Catholic scholars.«

- Catholic priest Andrew Greeley (The Making of the Popes 1978, p. 227.) says: »Mary is one of the most powerful religious symbols in the history of the Western world ... The Mary symbol links Christianity directly to the ancient religions of mother goddesses.«

- The Cult of the Mother-Goddess (E. O. James, New York, 1959, p. 207) interestingly points out to the location, where Mary as mother of God was confirmed: »The Council of Ephesus assembled in the basilica of the Theotokos in 431. There, if anywhere, in the city so notorious for its devotion to Artemis, or Diana as the Romans called her, where her image was said to have fallen from heaven, under the shadow of the great temple dedicated to the Magna Mater since 330 B.C. and containing, according to tradition, a temporary residence of Mary, the title ‘God-bearer’ hardly could fail to be upheld.«

- The New Encyclopædia Britannica: »Veneration of the mother of God received its impetus when the Christian Church became the imperial church under Constantine and the pagan masses streamed into the church. ... Their piety and religious consciousness had been formed for millennia through the cult of the ‘great mother’ goddess and the ‘divine virgin,’ a development that led all the way from the old popular religions of Babylonia and Assyria.«

- Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics cites W. M. Ramsay: »[in] the 5th cent. the honour paid to the Virgin Mary at Ephesus was form of the old pagan Anatolian worship of the Virgin Mother.«

- The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology : »The Catholic notions of the ‘mother of God’ and of the ‘queen of heaven,’ though later than the N[ew] T[estament], point to much earlier religio-historical roots in the East. ... In the later veneration of Mary there are many traces of the heathen cult of the divine mother.«

- Théo—Nouvelle encyclopédie catholique: »They [the Black Virgins] appear to have been a means for transferring to Mary what remained of popular devotion to Diana ... or Cybele.«

- The New Encyclopædia Britannica: »The term [Mother Goddess] also has been applied to figures as diverse as the so-called Stone Age Venuses and the Virgin Mary.«



Use of the Cross as a Symbol of Christianity


mt_ignore:De cruce libri tres, Justus Lipsius

- In the Latin dictionary by Lewis and Short the basic meaning of crux is "a tree, frame, or other wooden instruments of execution, on which criminals were impaled or hanged." A single stake for impalement of a criminal was called in Latin crux sim\'plex. Such single stake is illustrated in the book "De cruce libri tres" (Antwerpen, 1629, p. 19) by Justus Lipsius (1547-1606).

- The Encyclopædia Britannica calls the cross the principal symbol of the Christian religion. The Greek word generally translated cross is stau·ros\' and it usually means »an upright pale or stake.« The Companion Bible (London, 1885, Appendix No. 162) : »[Stau·ros\'] never means two pieces of timber placed across one another at any angle ... There is nothing in the Greek [New Testament] even to imply two pieces of timber.«

- The Imperial Bible-Dictionary (P. Fairbairn, London, 1874, Vol. I, p. 376): »The Greek word for cross, [stau·ros\'], properly signified a stake, an upright pole, or piece of paling, on which anything might be hung, or which might be used in impaling a piece of ground. ... Even amongst the Romans the crux (from which our cross is derived) appears to have been originally an upright pole.«

In other texts, in the Bible, writers use the Greek word xy\'lon for the instrument of Jesus’ death. (Acts 5:30; 10:39; 13:29; Galatians 3:13; 1 Peter 2:24) This word simply means »timber, a stick or a tree.«

- A Greek-English Lexicon (Liddell and Scott, Oxford, 1968, pp. 1191, 1192) defines the word xy\'lon: »Wood cut and ready for use, firewood, timber, etc. ... piece of wood, log, beam, post ... cudgel, club ... stake on which criminals were impaled ... of live wood, tree.«

- Das Kreuz und die Kreuzigung (The Cross and the Crucifixion), by Hermann Fulda, states: »Trees were not everywhere available at the places chosen for public execution. So a simple beam was sunk into the ground. On this the outlaws, with hands raised upward and often also with their feet, were bound or nailed.«

- First in the fourth century, Emperor Constantine promoted the cross as christian symbol. The New Catholic Encyclopedia: »The cross is found in both pre-Christian and non-Christian cultures.«

- The Non-Christian Cross, (J. D. Parsons, London, 1896, pp. 23, 24): »There is not a single sentence in any of the numerous writings forming the New Testament, which, in the original Greek, bears even indirect evidence to the effect that the stauros used in the case of Jesus was other than an ordinary stauros; much less to the effect that it consisted, not of one piece of timber, but of two pieces nailed together in the form of a cross. ... It is not a little misleading upon the part of our teachers to translate the word stauros as ‘cross’ when rendering the Greek documents of the Church into our native tongue, and to support that action by putting ‘cross’ in our lexicons as the meaning of stauros without carefully explaining that that was at any rate not the primary meaning of the word in the days of the Apostles, did not become its primary signification till long afterwards, and became so then, if at all, only because, despite the absence of corroborative evidence, it was for some reason or other assumed that the particular stauros upon which Jesus was executed had that particular shape.«

- Encyclopædia Britannica (1946, Vol. 6, p. 753): »Various objects, dating from periods long anterior to the Christian era, have been found, marked with crosses of different designs, in almost every part of the old world. India, Syria, Persia and Egypt have all yielded numberless examples ... The use of the cross as a religious symbol in pre-Christian times and among non-Christian peoples may probably be regarded as almost universal, and in very many cases it was connected with some form of nature worship.«

- An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words (W. E. Vine, London, 1962, p. 256): »The shape of the [two-beamed cross] had its origin in ancient Chaldea, and was used as the symbol of the god Tammuz (being in the shape of the mystic Tau, the initial of his name) in that country and in adjacent lands, including Egypt. By the middle of the 3rd cent. A. D. the churches had either departed from, or had travestied, certain doctrines of the Christian faith. In order to increase the prestige of the apostate ecclesiastical system pagans were received into the churches apart from regeneration by faith, and were permitted largely to retain their pagan signs and symbols. Hence the Tau or T, in its most frequent form, with the cross-piece lowered, was adopted to stand for the cross of Christ.«

- The Cross in Ritual, Architecture, and Art (G. S. Tyack, London, 1900, p. 1): »It is strange, yet unquestionably a fact, that in ages long before the birth of Christ, and since then in lands untouched by the teaching of the Church, the Cross has been used as a sacred symbol. ... The Greek Bacchus, the Tyrian Tammuz, the Chaldean Bel, and the Norse Odin, were all symbolised to their votaries by a cruciform device.«

- The Worship of the Dead (Colonel J. Garnier, London, 1904, p. 226): »The cross in the form of the ‘Crux Ansata’ ... was carried in the hands of the Egyptian priests and Pontiff kings as the symbol of their authority as priests of the Sun god and was called ‘the Sign of Life.’«

- A Short History of Sex-Worship (H. Cutner, London, 1940, pp. 16, 17): »Various figures of crosses are found everywhere on Egyptian monuments and tombs, and are considered by many authorities as symbolical either of the phallus [a representation of the male sex organ] or of coition. ... In Egyptian tombs the crux ansata [cross with a circle or handle on top] is found side by side with the phallus.«

- The Companion Bible (Appendix No. 162; see also The Non-Christian Cross, pp. 133-141): »These crosses were used as symbols of the Babylonian sun-god, [See book], and are first seen on a coin of Julius Cæsar, 100-44 B.C., and then on a coin struck by Cæsar’s heir (Augustus), 20 B. C. On the coins of Constantine the most frequent symbol is [See book]; but the same symbol is used without the surrounding circle, and with the four equal arms vertical and horizontal; and this was the symbol specially venerated as the ‘Solar Wheel’. It should be stated that Constantine was a sun-god worshipper, and would not enter the ‘Church’ till some quarter of a century after the legend of his having seen such a cross in the heavens.«

- New Catholic Encyclopedia (Vol. IV, 1967, p. 486): »The representation of Christ’s redemptive death on Golgotha does not occur in the symbolic art of the first Christian centuries. The early Christians, influenced by the Old Testament prohibition of graven images, were reluctant to depict even the instrument of the Lord’s Passion.«

- History of the Christian Church (J. F. Hurst, Vol. I, New York, 1897, p. 366 ), referring to the first century: »There was no use of the crucifix and no material representation of the cross.«